All in good fun, I would like to share a little of the nitty-gritty about cruising. It may make you think twice before quitting your job and sailing off into the sunset. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to dissuade you from making that same decision, I just thought you all would like to hear some of the REAL stuff that happens out here.
First off, forget about soaking in a bathtub, hot tub, or anything remotely luxurious. If you happen to find a shower at the marina that you pull into, you have to have quarters available, and usually your five minute shower turns into a two minute shower ( The majority of them take at least a few minutes for the water to warm up), and forget ever shaving your legs in warmth. Bill enjoys this kind of shower situation. He likes checking out the showers first thing when we arrive at a new marinas. I don’t get it, it must be a women are from Venus, men are from Mars scenario. He disappears when we first arrive to each new marina bringing back with him the “report” of the showers each time. Ugh!
Showers are important for sailors too. Not only because you sweat when winding in your sails on a winch while wearing multiple layers of foul weather gear, but most importantly your not allowed to use very much toilet paper. One of the worst things that can happen when you’re out sailing is your head (toilet) getting clogged, or overflowing. So, in fear of this happening, we are only allowed to use a couple squares of toilet paper at a time. This can be very challenging when number 2’s are involved. It also doesn’t help the matter that thong underwear are in style these days.
Oh yeah, and forget the whole romantic notion all together. Our nights together used to consist of peering off our Seattle balcony at the skyline, sipping on a French Bordeaux listening to our favorite Spotify mix. Perhaps a romantic dinner out to one of our favorite Seattle restaurants, Butcher’s Table, Rock Creek Seafood or June Baby. Now our evenings consist of 4 hour watch sessions, so far in the damp Pacific Ocean fog. After four hours of sitting out in this you see your partner in a completely different light. When your shift is about to end, you count down the seconds until they emerge from the cabin. Such relief, but not a longingly gaze now, its more anticipatory, sometimes with a squint in the eye of disgust because you’re 30 seconds late. (Okay, I may be exaggerating a little. Bill never looks at me in disgust. It makes for a better story.)
Instead of sipping on a martini waiting for your Mashima Reserve Wagyu steak to arrive at Butcher’s Table. I am consistently reminding myself not to take each wave personally that tosses me across the boat while trying to make some kind of boat gruel, which usually consists of lentil, beans, pasta and some kind of cheese. And, last but not least, you can forget about the wine. It is too dangerous in the middle of the ocean to be catching a warm buzz. But, if we do happen to get wine it is from a box, definitely not from Bordeaux.
But, now we are in San Francisco, getting further south with every leg. Soon the cold air of the North Pacific will be behind us. I am continually amazed at how quickly you forget about all the inconveniences once you see the sunset, the sunrise or a whale. We see a school of dolphins almost every day we are out. They are so excited when they have a bow to jump alongside. It looks as though they are practicing synchronized swimming for the Olympics. The other day, I watched five dolphins jump in tandem with precision. All of THIS makes the showers, toilet paper, four hour night watches, and lack of wine seem unquestionably inconsequential.